Tobacco Products

Men's Health and Smoking

Father and son

Smoking continues to have a profound impact on the health and well-being of men and their families in the United States.

  • About 1 in 6 men smoke cigarettes.1
  • Each day in the United States, more than 1,100 boys under 18 years of age smoke their first cigarette.2
  • 1 in 10 high school aged boys smoke cigarettes.3

Impacts of Men Smoking

There is abundant research about the many harms of smoking—whether it's the dangerous chemicals, the addictive properties, or the damage smoking causes to the lungs, the heart, and nearly every organ in the body.4 For men who smoke, these effects can have a profound impact on your body and your life, including diminished overall heath, increased absenteeism from work, and increased health care needs and costs.5 Smoking also exposes your family to the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. Here are some facts about smoking's effects to you and those around you.

For Men

  • Smoking causes heart disease, cancer, and stroke—the first, second, and fifth leading causes of death among men in the United States.6,7
  • Smoking cigarettes causes chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). People with COPD have trouble breathing and slowly start to die from lack of air.4 Approximately 80% of COPD deaths are caused by smoking. Smokers are 12 to 13 times more likely to die from COPD than nonsmokers.6
  • Smokers are up to 20 times more likely to develop lung cancer than nonsmokers.5
  • Life expectancy for smokers is at least a decade less than for nonsmokers.8
  • Smokers with prostate cancer may be more likely to die from the disease than nonsmokers.9

11 minutes off your life

For Families

  • Secondhand smoke causes disease and premature death in nonsmoking adults and children.9,10
  • The U.S. Surgeon General estimates that living with a smoker increases a nonsmoker's risk of developing lung cancer by 20-30%.9,10
  • Exposure to secondhand smoke increases school children's risk for ear infections, lower respiratory illnesses, more frequent and more severe asthma attacks, and slowed lung growth, and can cause coughing, wheezing, phlegm, and breathlessness.10,11
  • Teens are more likely to smoke if they have friends or family who smoke.12

Shareable image - Babies and children who breathe secondhand cmoke are sick more often with bronchitis, pheumonia, ear infections.Next Steps

The good news is that you can do something about it now—smoking truly is what the CDC terms a "modifiable" risk factor.

Encourage the men in your life—the fathers, sons, brothers, and friends—to take a moment to care for themselves and put their own health first by finding a quit method that works for them.


1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Current cigarette smoking among adults – United States, 2005-2015. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2016; 65(44):1205-1211.

2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, SAMHSA, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality;2016. http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-DetTabs-2015/NSDUH-DetTabs-2015/NSDUH-DetTabs-2015.pdf. Accessed September 9, 2016.

3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Tobacco product use among middle and high school students – United States, 2011-2015. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2016; 65(14):361-367.

4. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS). A Report of the Surgeon General: How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: What It Means to You (Consumer Booklet). Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health; 2010.

5. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS). The Health Consequences of Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health 2004.

6. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress. A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health; 2014. Accessed April 14, 2014.

7. Kochanek KD, Murphy SL, Xu J, Tejada-Vera B. Deaths: Final data for 2014. Natl Vital Stat Rep. 2016; 65(4). Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. Accessed May 18, 2017.

8. Jha P, Ramasundarahettige C, Landsman V, Rostrom B, Thun M, Anderson RN, McAfee T, Peto R. 21st Century Hazards of Smoking and Benefits of Cessation in the United States. [PDF- 782 KB] . New England Journal of Medicine, 2013;368[4]:341–50 (accessed 2014 Feb 6).

9. US Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS). (2014). Let’s Make the Next Generation Tobacco-Free: Your Guide to the 50th Anniversary Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health (Consumer Booklet). Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health.
10. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Coordinating Center for Health Promotion, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health; 2006. Accessed April 14, 2014.

11. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General—Secondhand Smoke: What It Means to You. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coordinating Center for Health Promotion, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health; 2006. Accessed November 11, 2014.

12. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS). A Report of the Surgeon General: Preventing Tobacco Use among Youth and Young Adults. We Can Make the Next Generation Tobacco-Free (Consumer Booklet). Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health; 2012.


 

Page Last Updated: 08/11/2017
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